The Leader’s Greatest Vulnerabilities – Part 4

To be an effective leader, you must remain connected with your team and empathize with them; you must understand their reality. As you work on the big picture, you must not lose touch with the people on the ground, who carry a big part of the load and are affected by the decision you make. It has been the main topic I have covered in part 1, part 2, and part 3 of this series.

The key message has been, “stay connected with your team.” Here’s a challenge that leaders face: while they must remain in touch with the reality of their team members, they must also develop a deep understanding of the people their team is meant to serve.

For example, leaders in private companies must develop a deep understanding of their clients, whether the clients are consumers or other businesses. Similarly, leaders of support units in an organization must have intimate knowledge of the internal department they’re here to serve.

Leaders who lose sight of the people they desire to serve (e.g., their clients) expose themselves to a serious vulnerability. How can one effectively meet the needs of people they don’t understand?

If you aspire to become an effective leader, you must learn to listen to your clients (I use “clients” in the broad sense; they’re the people your team’s outcome is meant to serve). It implies that you put mechanisms in place to receive feedback from your clients. And when you receive feedback, you’re receptive to it and act on it.

Effective leaders must be intentional about keeping abreast of their clients’ needs; failure to do so puts them at a serious disadvantage. The more you know about your client’s reality, the better equipped you are to serve them. Your insight into your client’s reality allows you to tailor your team’s services to their needs better and to communicate with them more effectively. Know your clients—well.

About The Author

Vladimir Elie

I help people learn and apply success principles and strategies so that they can get the results they want in life.